In the News: 70 Vestry Is Expected to Reap $700 Million in Sales

••• The Oculus at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub will open at 3 p.m. tomorrow—it’s as if the Port Authority knew that I’m leaving for the airport at noon. Oh, well. Also, the initial plan was that the skylights along the top would open annually on Sept. 11, but now they’re going to open whenever the weather is nice. —DNAinfo (photo courtesy @WTCProgress)

••• The Wall Street Journal‘s review of the structure says it “wows rather than elevates, emblematic of a time when dazzle outweighs aesthetic coherence and gold swan faucets trump measured details.” No clue what that last clause is about; swan faucets? Anyway, there’s no discussion of the building in its context. The eye wants to go somewhere, and amid all those new glassy towers and a memorial devoted to absence as much as anything else, the Oculus is a pleasure and a relief.

••• Related’s filings for 70 Vestry says sales are expected to reap $700 million. Anyone know of a park directly across the street that could use some economic help? —Real Deal

••• “A woman left behind a black sock filled with $3,800 in cash at a Chinese buffet restaurant [Yips on Beaver St.] last week as she paid for her food [….] According to camera footage, police said, another woman found the sock on the floor and gave it an employee, then a few minutes later, a regular customer walked in, and the cashier gave him the sock filled with money.” —DNAinfo

••• “The Battery Park City Authority has doubled the dollar value of contracts that requires approval from its directors, but the board rejected a request by the Authority’s management team to increase this threshold, in some cases, to more than three times its original amount.” This was back at the January 27 board meeting. —Broadsheet



  1. Article says they plan to finish 70 vestry by 2018… yeah right!

  2. Not exactly a rave architectural review in the Times:

    “The downtown hub is not Grand Central. Any really big or unusual object or immense hole in the ground triggers awe. Mr. Calatrava is a sometimes very inspired sculptor of structural engineering. His best projects are rail stations. I’ve long admired the modest one he designed for Zurich years ago, which accomplished a lot with relatively little.

    “But he has become a one-trick pony. The World Trade Center Hub resembles his station in Lyon, France, and his museum in Milwaukee. Aside from the obvious Pantheon allusion, I no longer know what the hub is supposed to mean, symbolically, with its now-thickened ribs, hunkered torso and angry snouts on either end, weirdly compressing the entrances from the street. It’s like a Pokémon. Think of Eero Saarinen’s skylights at Kennedy’s TWA terminal, which resolve so elegantly into big, playful porthole windows. The imagery is clear. That’s great architecture.

    “From those street entrances to the hub, the Oculus reveals itself all at once from awkward, tongue-shaped balconies. Mr. Calatrava gives the whole view away. The trip downstairs becomes a letdown. It’s better coming up from the PATH trains, where riders pass through a kind a vestibule (beneath the tracks for the No. 1 train) before stepping up to the nave of the Oculus, which appears suddenly, obliquely. It may put you in mind of entering the Guggenheim, with its sequence of compression and release, except there, space continues to unfold and surprise you along the ramp.”

  3. Have to agree with Erik that the Calatrava hub is by far the most architecturally interesting structure in the watered down World Trade complex
    It’s definitely a signature vision and I am sure that over time it will come to be appreciated
    Btw he also builds bridges and skyscrapers like Turning Torso…